Dallas Shooter's Parents: The Army Changed Him
They say he came out of the military 'very disappointed' with the government
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2016 6:26 PM CDT
People surround a memorial in honor of the slain Dallas police officers in front of police headquarters, in Dallas, Saturday, July 9, 2016.   (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

(Newser) – The family of Dallas gunman Micah Xavier Johnson has spoken to only one media outlet, The Blaze, in an interview set to air this week. Johnson's mother, Delphine, says her son, who killed five police officers during his rampage at a Black Lives Matter protest march last week, used to be happy and extroverted. But after six years as a US Army reservist, including a seven-month Afghanistan deployment, something changed. She and Johnson's father, James, aren't sure exactly what happened, but "the military was not what Micah thought it would be," Delphine says. "He was very disappointed, very disappointed. But it may be that the ideal that he thought of our government, what he thought the military represented, it just didn’t live up to his expectations."

As a child, his parents say, Johnson wanted to become a police officer and then decided to enlist in the military instead: "He wanted to protect his country." After he was discharged from the Army in 2015, Johnson started studying black history and displaying images of black power on his Facebook page, his father says. But his parents insist he never showed signs of hating other racial groups, he just hated "injustice," his mother says. (Johnson's stepmother is white.) Police say Johnson told them he wanted to kill white cops as revenge after police officers recently fatally shot two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. But Johnson's father says, through tears, that he still doesn't understand: "I didn't see it coming." Click for more from the interview.